Friday, 10 February 2012


How to be a Good Sport


In the last two years or so Mr V’s sporting habits have changed phenomenally.  There was a time he’d be out on the football pitch, or standing on the fairway, or skiing down slopes participating in much expending of energy.  He still loves these things – but mostly from the comfort of his sofa.  Exercise is gentler with only the index finger doing push-ups as it connects with the remote control and flicks between different sports channels.  These days Mr V prefers to be a spectator of skiers hurtling down slopes rather than emulating them; or verbally assisting Wayne Rooney on how to pop the ball between the posts.  And as for Tiger Woods – well Mr V has only the greatest admiration for a man whose multi-legovers meant that for many months all Tiger’s balls ended up in the bunker.

It’s a tricky thing to balance when one of you starts to slow down and the other isn’t quite ready to follow.  And so it is, more and more, that I find myself wandering – as William Wordsworth once wrote – lonely as a cloud as I power walk with my aging hound around the village lanes and farmland completely on my tod.  Fortunately my other outdoor passion – skiing – is shared by my teenage daughter Eleanor.  But for how much longer is anybody’s guess. If Harry Styles clicks his fingers and gives her the nod, then I won’t see her for snow powder. However, at least for now I have somebody to share my chair lift with as it cruises over snow-capped fir trees and scenery that resembles a giant wedding cake.  There is nothing like sharing the horror of a black run.  Even if it is on your backside.

So whilst I’m very disappointed that Mr V isn’t joining us in Passe Tonale for the next week, I’m nonetheless very excited to have hauled out the suitcases.  Yes, they are still not packed!  I have, however, whizzed into Decathlon to make the sort of over-excited gasping sounds some women make in the Harrods January Sale...not the End-Of-Season aisle of a sports warehouse.
            ‘Look,’ I waggled a cream ski jacket at Eleanor, ‘look at my bargain!’
            ‘You already have two ski jackets Mum,’ she pointed out.
            ‘But this one is only a tenner!’ I beamed.
 A bargain or false economy?  I mean, do I really need three ski jackets?  I’m a woman.  So the answer is yes.

And having bought all this thermal clobber, a small part of me wonders if I actually need it.  Only this morning on the school run, I had to pull over and shrug off my jacket thanks to being ambushed by a violent hot-flush.  So here I come Italy, to ski down your mountains in minus 14...quite possibly in just a t-shirt.

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